Eighteen Artists Receive Fellowships from the N.C. Arts Council

North Carolina Arts CouncilRaleigh, NC – Eighteen artists living and working in North Carolina are recipients of the 2012–2013 North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award in the categories of visual art, craft, film/video and choreography.

Artists receive a $10,000 fellowship to support creative development and the creation of new work. Recipients were selected by panels comprised of artists and arts professionals with expertise in each discipline.

The Artist Fellowship program operates on a two-year rotating cycle by discipline. Songwriters, composers and writers will be eligible to apply for the November 2012 deadline.

Below is an alphabetical list of recipients for FY 2012-13:

Ryan C. Buyssens (Mecklenburg)
Charlotte visual artist Ryan C. Buyssens makes kinetic sculptures using a diverse system of materials, kinematics, electronics and graphics. These sculptures, which he calls intertropes, appear similar to old-fashioned zoetropes yet require no special viewing devices or lighting to experience the animations. Buyssens achieves this effect through a patented spinning wheel with a jittering, stop-and-start motion that fools the eye. His designs, including matchstick men marching, origami opening and a butterfly flying, can be seen in videos as well as in three- dimensional versions. His work has been exhibited at the 2012: Urban Exquis – First Park, New York City; the 2011 TEDx in Charlotte, and The Studio SIGGRAPH 2011 conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. Buyssens earned an M.F.A from Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Duane Cyrus (Guilford)
Greensboro choreographer Duane Cyrus has performed across the country and around the world with The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Martha Graham Dance Company and the original London cast ofThe Lion King, among others. His creative process involves taking a theatrical approach to performance, collaborating with artists from different disciplines, and paying attention to production values that contribute to, re-shape and re-position live movement and theatrical performance for the audience. Cyrus choreographedCoco Tries New Things for TONY Award nominee Karine Plantadit in 2011, and his Cyrus Art Productions was co-producer of Stars of American Dance at Carolina Theatre in Greensboro in 2011. He received an M.F.A in Dance from the University of Illinois.

Notasia DeRubertis (Durham) 
Durham narrative filmmaker Notasia DeRubertis explores social issues in character-driven stories. She was motivated to make her first feature-length film based on one of her screenplays. In the process, she learned and fell in love with all aspects of filmmaking. In the film, she made her first stop-motion animation, piecing together four-thousand frames of her drawings for two minutes of film. A recipient of the 2012 Ella Pratt Emerging Artist Grant from the Durham Arts Council for stop-motion animation, DeRubertis currently is shooting a stop-motion-animated short and is in pre-production on her second feature. She holds a painting degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Travis Donovan (Wake)
Cary visual artist Travis Donovan uses smoke machines, pumps and motors to coax new poetic connections from common materials and objects he’s encountered growing up in the South. In Smoulder, whisps of smoke emanate from a heap of tobacco leaves, while in Drip, clay slowly drips down the sides of walls and pools on the floor. Donovan’s works will be exhibited as part of Home Work: Domestic Narratives in Contemporary Art at the Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art, Greensboro, opening in September, 2012; have been seen at the Ruffin Gallery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville in 2011; and the Industry Gallery, Washington D.C. in 2011. He holds an M.F.A. from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Scott Hazard (Wake)
Raleigh visual artist Scott Hazard’s photographic and text-based works consist of layers of paper that are carefully torn or cut, spaced apart and aligned to define a sculptural void. The three-dimensionality of his works makes viewing them a tactile experience, and the placement of words in his text-based pieces give viewers the perception of moving in, through and out of the compositions. His work was exhibited in the 2012 solo show Cultivations at the Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville, Va. and the 2011 solo exhibition,Departures at the Smoyer Gallery, Roanoke College, Salem, Va. Hazard holds an M.F.A in sculpture from the University of Florida.

Brandon Jones (Guilford)
Greensboro visual artist Brandon Jones designs and builds objects that blur the line between functional furniture and sculpture. His most recent work is a series of furniture studies created by digitally analyzing and manipulating forms which were then built with a variety of metals, woods, repurposed objects and innovative green materials. Rather than being boxed in by the limitations of materials, Jones finds inspiration in exploring their unconventional uses. He was the recipient of the 2010 Miriam Scott Mayo & Hazeleene Tate Scott Scholarship from UNC Greensboro, and was profiled in IDEC Exchange: a Forum for Interior Design Education, summer 2012. Jones holds an M.S. in Interior Architecture from UNC Greensboro.

Mark Koven (Buncombe)
Asheville artist Mark Koven creates elaborate multimedia installations using visual arts, sound and performance that encourage viewers to become active participants, transcending the separation between installation/performance and viewer/audience. In Projected Growth, Koven swabbed a well-read Wall St. Journal newspaper taken from a coffeehouse and grew the bacteria in a petri dish, comparing the growth of the bacteria with the growth of the projected financial index. In Flock of Sheep, water-filled crates mimicking those in the book The Little Prince were hung from the ceiling, and as viewers approached the boxes emanated water vapor “clouds.” Koven was the winner of the 2007 international competition for Art in Public Places as part of the Lights on Tampa initiative, Fla. and received a 2005 Scope Performance Grant, London, UK. He earned an M.F.A from the University of Miami.

Becky and Steve Lloyd (Haywood)
For Clyde ceramists Becky and Steve Lloyd, decoration and form are two principles that guide their exploration of the vessel as an icon of containment, celebration ritual and contemplation. Their use of materials reflects their reverence for the traditions of ceramic vessel, while thrown form and surface design come together as the pair explores how to merge these elements into objects of precision and pure beauty. The Lloyds were selected to exhibit at the Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington, D.C. in 2009 and 2011; earned Best of Show awards at Artisphere in Greenville, S.C. in 2012; the St. Louis Art Fair in 2009; and Madison Art Fair on the Square in 2006. Becky received her B.A. from Beloit College and Steve earned an M.F.A from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

David McConnell (Wake)
Self-taught Raleigh multimedia artist David McConnell draws on his past experiences in the world of music composition and record production to create visual artworks that share a thematic element of sound. Assembled from found or created objects including vintage sound and recording devices, his works might feature vinyl records or the mechanism of a music box which he has altered to play an entirely different tune, lending a “fourth dimension” to his three-dimensional pieces. His installation, Phonosymphonic Sun was part of the national exhibition, The Record- Contemporary Art and Vinyl which opened at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in Durham in 2010.

Daniel Nevins (Buncombe)
Asheville visual artist Daniel Nevins selects forms from the natural world and re-contextualizes them to create new representations of nature, dictated by emotions and aesthetic sensibilities. His works evoke a colorful, floating “otherworld” of exuberance and fecundity. His forms and compositions are worked out on the surface of the canvas, creating layers of visible alterations. Nevins’ work was exhibited at the Blackett-Peck Gallery, New Orleans in 2011; at Blue Spiral 1 in Asheville five times from 2000 through 2008; and has appeared on more than 30 album covers. He holds a B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of Florida.

Marek Ranis (Mecklenburg)
Charlotte visual artist Marek Ranis’ work examines large social and political events, ecological issues and geographical and political boundaries from a larger cultural and historical perspective. Ranis’ work invites viewers to contemplate our times, which some describe as a period of weltschmerz (world sorrow) and provides inspiration for a hopeful future. Ranis’ site-specific video installation, Hold On was displayed at the Maskara Gallery, Mumbai, India and his work was part of the 2011 SESC – VideoBrasil International Contemporary Art Festival in Sao Paulo. He holds an M.F.A. in Sculpture /Studio Art from the Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw, Poland.

Dana Raymond (Wake)
Garner visual artist Dana Raymond imaginatively merges the rational and irrational into static and dynamic objects, installations and performances. His main objective is to activate space and to explore the relationship between parts and the whole. Raymond participated in a 1982 Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture summer artist residency that included Frank Stella, Louise Nevelson and David Hockney; was part of the collective installation Qatari Bottlescape at VCU-Qatar College of Design Arts in Doha in 2002; and his kinetic installation, Breathing Will: Okinawa was on display at the Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts, Japan in 2003. He holds an M.F.A in sculpture from Queens College, City University of New York.

Amanda Small (Orange)
Chapel Hill visual artist Amanda Small uses traditional craft materials such as porcelain, fiber, and resin, conceiving and presenting work that contradicts the accepted conventions of her chosen material. Delicate layers arranged in undulating patterns reference internal structures found in nature, biology, and plant life, symbolizing vast micro-macro landscapes. Small’s 2012 exhibitions include Some(Where) We Meet/Antipodes at the Pool Art Center Gallery, Drury University, Springfield, Mo.; and Small Favors at The Clay Studio, Philadelphia. She received the 2011 grand prize for Specific Environments: Landscape as Metaphor at Colorado Lincoln Center, Ft. Collins, Colo. Small earned an M.F.A in Ceramic Art from Kansas State University.

Tracy Spencer-Stonestreet (Guilford)
Greensboro visual artist Tracy Spencer-Stonestreet is inspired by the layers of meaning, signals, and desires that all exist within the home, using her own experience of growing up in a “big, loving Southern family” as the catalyst for much of her work. Her manipulations of furniture and other domestic objects — she claws, shoots and scratches, and well as fixes, improves and elevates common recognizable elements of the home — shift our relationships to these objects as well as to each other. Spencer-Stonestreet received the 2011 Logan Award from UNC-Chapel Hill, and her work has been selected for Home Work: Domestic Narratives in Contemporary Art at the Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art, Greensboro, opening in Sept. 2012. She received an M.F.A in Studio Art from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Leigh Suggs (Orange)
Carrboro visual artist Leigh Suggs’ works emerge from repeated shapes and lines, most often circles, dots, or lines that create the idea of a circle. Her “process” is to focus on a single gesture, whether it is cutting, stitching, or marking; these rhythmic and laborious gestures accumulate, and the pattern-making begins. Suggs was a 2011 winter printmaking resident artist at Penland School of Crafts, and her work was exhibited in a solo show entitled Red White Black Blue 2012 at Light Art + Design in Chapel Hill. She holds a B.F.A, with a concentration in mixed media and fibers from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Sarah West (Wake)
Raleigh visual artist Sarah West’s work resides at the intersection of jewelry and sculpture. Working from abstract drawings and collages to create diagrams of emotional landscapes, she exposes the underlying geography of memory and history through overlapping line, shadow and imagery. She is inspired by the open latticework of bridges and electric towers, and the internal architecture of buildings, maps and trajectory patterns. In 2012, West’s work was on view in Public Record, a solo exhibition at Artspace, Raleigh and in the Penland Artists Summer Show and Illume, both invitational shows at Light Art and Design in Chapel Hill. She earned a B.F.A. from East Carolina University, Greenville.

Jeff Whetstone (Durham) Durham filmmaker
Jeff Whetstone’s work portrays the wild in us as much as it does the wild around us. Whether the locale is a dramatic western landscape or temporary woods between subdivisions, the wilderness he depicts is both a state of the contemporary environment and an internal identity. Whetstone portrays how notions of the wilderness shape our culture, and how our culture, in turn, forges the idea of the wild. He received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 2007 and the Factor Prize for Southern Art in 2008. His solo exhibitions include Seducing Birds, Snakes, Men at Julie Saul Gallery in New York City in 2011 and Jeff Whetstone, Post-Pleistocene at the Center for the Study of the American South, Chapel Hill in 2010. He holds an M.F.A. in Photography from Yale University.

Andrea E. Woods (Durham) 
Durham dancer/choreographer Andrea E. Woods’ creative choreographic process is inspired by folk traditions such as blues, jazz, folk music, African American literature, family folklore and movement reflective of the social and cultural experience of the African Diaspora. She works with live and original text and music whenever possible, creating dances that have a generous worldview while centralizing, affirming, and exemplifying a positive reflection of African American culture. Woods has toured nationally and internationally with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Co., serves as the Artistic Director of SOULOWORKS and is an assistant professor of the practice of dance at Duke University. She holds an M.F.A. in dance from Ohio State University.

For more information contact Rebecca Moore at (919) 807-6530.

Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson

About the Author:

Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson is the founder and Editor of Beach Carolina Magazine. Living along the coast of North Carolina, Mike has a passion for the beach and loves to bring news and events of the Carolinas to others around the world.

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